Thrash Hits

November 16th, 2011

Live: Karma To Burn @ London Boston Music Room – 11 November 2011

karma to burn promo photo thrash hits 2011

Karma To Burn play in London. We go to see Karma to burn play in London. Karma To Burn are booked to play in Tufnell Park? We still go to Tufnell Park. Especially when Desert Storm, Astrohenge and End Of Level Boss are supporting. Tufnell Park isn’t that tough a sell. Come on.

6 things we learned when we saw Karma To Burn in London:

1) It’s a shame there aren’t more people around to see Desert Storm as the few who are get treated to a blues metal riff fest of epic proportions. These young Oxford dudes may look (almost) clean cut, but the music is whiskey-soaked and fighting in backstreets. And the vocals! “Gargling gravel,” is oft used to describe this kind of singing, but singer Matt probably thinks gravel is for pussies and goes for breezeblocks instead.

2) I’m going to be sad when Astrohenge inevitably get Mastodon-big and stop playing little venues every month. Yeah, it’ll be great for them, and music in general, but it’s nice to have them as London’s very own. Sounding like Zappa fucking with Sacred Reich riffs until they break, the ‘Henge pummel the audience with musicianship and joie de vivre until they’re won over. I end up watching, giggling, and occasionally mumbling “…What?…” and then giggling some more. Fuck yeah, Astrohenge. They also have some brilliant t-shirts.

3) Astrohenge may have taken the stoner rock ball and kicked it into orbit, but End Of Level Boss bring it firmly back to the stage. Younger bands can learn from frontman H. Armstrong – he brings something often forgotten to the mix – stagecraft. It’s just nice to have a bit of banter between songs, and even the occasional joke. Lovely. And the songs are rather wonderful too. Bringing the rock element of stoner rock firmly to the front, with neat prog flourishes, it’s the kind of thing that both intense weird-time-signature-noodlers and beard’n’pot riff worship dudes enjoy.

4) If there is one word to describe Karma To Burn it would be “BADASS”.

“As far as ah kin recall, we’re Karma Ta Burn,”

That’s the only warning you get before this power trio launch into one monster-sized riff after another. Canyon-deep grooves all over the place and one of the most enjoyable mosh pits I’ve been in for a while create a beautiful party atmosphere. The band themselves are intensity in baseball-caps, but occasionally lapse into dumb grins as they seem to be having as much fun as the crowd.

5) If there is one thing that Americans do really bloody will it’s the concept of big. Big cars, big food, big people – and in the form of Karma To Burn – big music. It’s oversized. Subtlety is forsaken in favour of bringing us something beautifully monolithic. Like a 16-wheel big rig, unstoppable, loud and awesome.

6) I think I’ve worked out why I enjoy stoner gigs so much. I’m probably unconsciously inhaling an awful lot of pot smoke. Huh.



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